Life by Degrees

Hello Beautiful Thinkers, 

I just finished Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. It is a young adult romantic fantasy that features werewolves. The interesting thing though it that the change from human to wolf isn’t dependent on the moon cycle as is the tradition with werewolves. Instead they change based on temperature. When it is cold out they shift to wolves and as it warms up they shift back to humans. It was an interesting version of the werewolf that I hadn’t seen before. Write a scene that shows a dramatic change in your character’s life between different types of weather. Does your character experience seasonal depression? What other things can change in your character’s life with the weather. 

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers, 

The Boy In The Heart Shades 

Celebrities Who Share Your Ailments

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

I just finished Carrie Fisher’s book Wishful Drinking. She certainly led an interesting life, to say the least. In the book, she talks quite a bit about mental illness as it has been something she struggled with most of her life. A few different times throughout the book she mentions lists of other celebrities that share her ailments or experiences. This part was funny to me as it reminded me of a website called Celebrities with your Disease. And once again I was struck by the realization of how much we are pushed to want to be like these famous people. We even find ways that we suffer the same as them. Write a scene in which your character discovers something that she and her favorite celebrity have in common. It doesn’t have to be an illness in this scene even though that was the sample I gave you.

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

Contrary Character 

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

I finished Catch 22 this week and can’t say that I was a fan. But at least I can feel confident in saying I don’t think I will find a group of characters that contradict each other and themselves nearly as much as this group does. Write a scene where your character encounters someone that contradicts everything to the point of being nonsensical. Is the character insane or trying to make it seem like they are for some reason?

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

Really Bad First Day

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

I just finished a couple of books by Emily Skrutskie called The Abyss Surrounds Us and The Edge of the Abyss. They were based in an interesting fantasy world that broke up the United States into several smaller countries. This character is going on her first-time solo mission when things go horribly wrong. It seems like there’s always that worry but rarely, in reality, do things go this badly. Write a scene where your character is starting something new and has a terrible first time at it. Does your character want to give up altogether? Or does this failure motivate her to try again?

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

Switching Roles

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

I just finished Neil Gaiman’s The Sleeper and The Spindle. It was an excellent modern fairytale that if I had any children in my life I would share with them. In many ways it follows the classic fairytale traditions but if you’ve ever read Gaiman’s work you know he likes to throw in twists. It uses a classic sleeping spell. *Spoilers* in this version the witch puts herself to sleep until some breaks the curse waking her. While she sleeps she gains power, youth, and beauty. *Spoilers over* Write a scene that switches things around from the classic roles that might be expected. Or one in which the characters are not who they seem to be. What is their preceived role and what is their actual role? Who was fooled by the way things seemed at first? What cause the truth to become clear?

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

The Benefits Of Reading Aloud

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

I’ve been listening to Amy Poehler’s audiobook Yes Please to and from work this week. I’m still in the process of learning to love audiobooks. There are some that I don’t care for because the reader’s voice will bother me for whatever reason. But in this case Amy Poehler and a group of her friends and family came together to read this audiobook and it was a very pleasant experience. The added personality of these other readers may not have come through the same on the printed page. I’m planning to buy a physical copy soon to see the difference. But I think there is a benefit to reading some stories aloud. Write a scene where a story is better told than read. What makes the difference do pronounced?

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

The Artist-Fan Connection

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

So a while back I posted a prompt based on the book Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. It turns out this book is being re-released with a new paperback cover art. The cover art is pretty cool but cooler than that is that Rainbow Rowell posted on social media that she will be doing personalized signatures on copies of the book bought from an indie bookstore website called The Bookworm. It’s looks like a pretty reasonable price for fans to get a personal signed copy of the book. I’ve always loved the idea of book signings. I think that particularly for artists that are just starting out it’s important to see those that they admire reaping the rewards of success. Write a scene in which your character is meeting someone who she has admired the work of since first seeing it. What does this meeting feel like for your character? How does it influence her future?

P.S. To those that might want a personalized copy of your own, this is important, when you check out, please say who the book is for in the “order comments” field, which looks like this:

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

Living Between Dimensions

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

I am reading the book Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. Since seeing the movie, I have been wanting to read this story. It is excellent. There are as always a few differences between the movie and the book. In this case, much of the things missing in the movie change the type of story. For example, Sophie is a witch in the book and Howl is actually a from another dimension. These are some interesting differences but I’d say I still like the movie just as much as the book. (A rarity in my world.) I like this idea of bringing a character in from another dimension. Write a scene that includes a character that travels between dimensions.

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

Drawing The Line On Heroism

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

I finished Fahrenheit 451 this week. Morally I found Guy Montag to be an interesting protagonist. *Spoilers* I would not label him a hero by any means. At the beginning of the story he is burning down houses without consideration of his actions and by the end of the story he has murdered another person. This moment was probably my favorite of the book which sounds a little bloodthirsty I know. But I’ve grown so tired of the characters that won’t kill because of some moral objection especially when their own life is on the line. Montag’s murder isn’t even for himself but for his companion Faber. At best you could label him chaotic good, but he is certainly not a hero. Where does your protagonist fall on the morality scale? Where do each of your characters fit? Do you represent each type: Lawful Good, Neutral Good, Chaotic Good, Lawful Neutral, True Neutral, Chaotic Neutral, Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil, and Chaotic Evil? Which do you find yourself most drawn to? Which are you most repelled by? Write a scene that explores your favorite and least favorite moralities clashing or otherwise interacting.

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

Believe What You Want

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

I just finished reading H.G. Wells The Time Machine. I was familiar with the basic concept and elements of the story from having seen movies based on the book but as with most instance the book and movies are a bit different. The part of the story that most of us can probably relate to is the Time Traveler’s desire to tell his story. He genuinely doesn’t seem to care if they actually believe him but he wants to tell them the story anyway. Write a scene in which your character doesn’t care whether or not she’s believe but is relieved to be able to tell a story. What makes the story unbelievable? How long has your character felt the need to tell this story to someone? Did she wait for a specific person to tell it to or has she told many people because she wants to spread the story.

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades